Review: BenQSW271 Monitor

gear reviews May 09, 2018

Recently I setup the Ultra Precision Calibration with the BenQ SW271 4K Photographers Monitor for my editing work.  Getting it out to the box and connecting it to my computer was extremely easy.  The first thing you will notice turning on the monitor is the high resolution and the overall crispness.  I also set up the included light shades which really helps to minimize any glare hitting the screen. This is very helpful if your office has lots of windows or natural light.  Another item that is included is a Hotkey Puck that lets you toggle between the monitor setting like RGB, sRGB, Black and White, PIP/PBP, Color adjustments, etc… 

As far as the monitor size, I generally like to keep my working monitor at around 18 inches viewing distance, so at 27 inches the SW271 seems to be a perfect fit.  BenQ had developed AQCOLOR which includes a wide color gamut and hardware calibration to deliver precision color accuracy.  Using the included Hotkey Puck allows the user to toggle back and forth between selected color setting.  I personally like to view my color images in Black and White to see where all the tones are rendering and for making creative artistic decisions.  With the Puck it is literally one click.

One of the issues I was having prior to setting up this monitor was that when I went to make a print on my Canon Pro 4000, I was constantly getting output results that were a bit flat, lacking in my deep blacks and the overall images were underexposed.  To compensate I was adjusting the original files in Canon’s Print Studio by increasing the contrast and the overall exposure.  This caused my prints to loose some detail in the shadows and highlights.  To say the least, it was a bit frustrating. 

Now with the BenQ SW271 monitor I can prepare the image setting my black point correct and matching the exposure so that I don’t have to compensate later with my print driver.  Now what you see, is what you get.  Not only does this save time, but it also preserves the details in my final print.  

What this has taught me is that if you prepare the file correctly at the start, then you minimize the risk of something going wrong down the road on the output side.  This is ever more important when you are preparing images for a client or if you outsource your printing to a lab.  

On the color side of things, many of you my know that I am colorblind.  I know it sounds crazy because I retouch all my images.  Even all my commercial client work.  The truth is I still see color.  It’s just that I have a hard time seeing colors the way most people see them.  So color calibration is important, but in accordance to the way I see things.  I am very picky about the end result.

Even though I am colorblind, retouching is possible because I let my intuition lead me down a path that is a representation of my vision as an artist.  This end result becomes my brand in the marketplace.  It is extremely important that this end result is consistent and repeatable.  

BenQ has some really good information on their monitors and if you fall into the more technical side of things, you can get really into ultra precision calibration.  Here is a link that will get you some great information:  

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